Arpit Sharma Joins NEAR as Managing Director for India, Asia, and Middle East Expansion – NEAR Protocol

Arpit Sharma Joins NEAR as Managing Director for India, Asia, and Middle East Expansion

NEAR Foundation
March 1, 2023

The NEAR ecosystem is getting a huge boost in the eastern hemisphere today. NEAR Foundation is appointing Arpit Sharma as managing director for India, South East Asia, and the Middle East to help expand NEAR’s presence in those specific regions and beyond. Sharma brings regional expertise as well as leadership experience from the Polygon ecosystem.

“Arpit brings a wealth of experience and passion about Web3 to the table,” said Marieke Flament, CEO of the NEAR Foundation. “With his impressive track record and deep understanding of this space, I am confident he will play a key role in shaping the future of NEAR.”

Sharma’s appointment marks a major milestone in expanding NEAR’s presence in some of the fastest-growing Web3 hotspots in the world. Having previously worked as the VP of Global Enterprises at Polygon, Sharma led enterprise adoption and business development in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. 

“I am thrilled to be in this new role as I see the immense opportunity in the region,” Sharma commented. “There is enormous potential to tap into strong grassroots communities as we continue to use the exciting opportunities presented by Web3 to connect, collaborate and change the world.”

Sharma and NEAR excited by regional opportunities

Favorable demographics and technical resources combined with a strong and diverse consumer base make India, South East Asia, and the Middle East primed for massive Web3 growth in the upcoming decades. As a VP at Polygon, Sharma was a key contributor to enterprise strategy and led the APAC business across enterprise, digital native businesses, and the public sector.

Sharma brings a wealth of regional and cross-industry experience along with extreme enthusiasm for the NEAR protocol, ecosystem, and technology. Sharma will champion Near’s developer-first focus and ease of use to drive onboarding in the APAC and Middle East regions.

“I’m incredibly impressed by the infinite scalability of NEAR’s platform,” Sharma said. “I believe it’s the best protocol in the ecosystem. It not only delivers on its technical promises but gains the support of the developer community. The potential presented in emerging markets is a win-win for everyone.”

As the new regional MD, Sharma will target business opportunities in five of the top ten countries on the 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index. This includes Vietnam, the Philippines, India, Pakistan, and Thailand. The index has been dominated by emerging markets in recent years, and NEAR’s appointment of Sharma will help the ecosystem benefit from this trend.

India in particular boasts the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem and one of the top Web3 talent pools globally. This includes more than 450 active Web3 startups and four unicorns. Sharma will augment NEAR’s current and rapidly growing presence in APAC, with strong regional hubs in South Korea and Vietnam.

Sharma’s Web3 expertise extends to a wide array of industries, solutions, and use cases. This includes the metaverse, NFTs, supply chain tracking, and stablecoins. He’s led projects in these areas and his versatility will be well-positioned to create more opportunities and a richer ecosystem in the Middle East, South East Asia, and India.

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